Not only is Karl Lagerfeld the most famous fashion designer in the world, he is also the most restless. Renowned as the industry's resident Renaissance man, he oversees the creative direction of both Chanel and Fendi, in addition to owning the Paris bookstore 7L, running his own publishing imprint, and working as a fashion photographer. Then there's his art collection, his house collection, and his culture-vulture appetite, which runs the gamut from Louis XV furniture to music. (He is said to own more than 100 iPods and even moonlights as a DJ in the Grand Theft Auto IV video game.)
As if those aren't enough outlets for his creativity, Lagerfeld also boasts his own designer label, Karl Lagerfeld, which he started in 1998 under the name Lagerfeld Gallery and sold to Tommy Hilfiger in 2005. (He remains in creative control.)
Free of the constraints that heading up a historic fashion house brings, Lagerfeld uses the eponymous label as a realm for exploring an edgier aesthetic. And the results—frequently packed with sharp black and white tailored looks, from mannish military jackets shown with flat motorcycle boots to fitted jackets and vests worn with skinny pants—tend to more closely resemble the designer's own signature look.
With his white ponytailed mane, ever-present black sunglasses, and fingerless black gloves, Lagerfeld, who famously shed 103 pounds in 2000 to fit into Hedi Slimane's skinny suits, has created a legendary persona whose stylish aura rubs off on whatever he touches. In 2004 his collection for H&M created an international sensation, selling out in a matter of days. In fall 2008 he debuted a trio of unisex fragrances called Kapsule. Lagerfeld not only stars in the ads, he also photographed them.
Karl Lagerfeld: Fall 2010 RTW
Runway, backstage, and front-row footage from the Paris show.